Tactica Imperialis - The Army - Part I  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , , ,

I'm sorry for the slowness in the past week, but I've been busy actually playing the game. Whoa. Since the Psykers are still not finished I'm giving you this tactica post. Hopefuly the next thing will be them.

I've been playing quite a lot recently, making up for all that time I haven't played just after the codex was released. Right now the 42nd stands proud with 7 victories, a single draw and 3 losses. Not too shabby. The other thing that has been attracting my attention is the thrice-damned Blizzard Entertainment that once again proves they can make awesome games by announcing third expansion for World of Warcraft - Cataclysm. Looks like I'll have to derive some money off the Space Wolves project. I promise I'll try not to get sucked into it too much and continue to post things.

But enough of rambling, let's get to the point! This time, I'll tell you my thoughts about most of the units in the new Guard codex.

  • HQ
    • Company Command Squad

      The most solid and the best HQ choice in an IG army, period. It provides you with a solid platform for some special weapons and is the ultimate support for the army at the same time.
      A while back I was going to field two of those in larger games, thinking what can be better than a load of meltas on BS4, double the ammount of orders and perhaps a double advisor bonus? Right now I don't think it's such a great idea. Perhaps another veteran squad is a better choice. A semi-mechanised list I play simply has nobody to give even 2 orders to, not to mention 4, since you cannot issue them to embarked units. A fully mechanised army will have it even worse. If you're high on foot infantry though, it can be a great thing!
      The orders the CO provides are the most powerful ones. Admittedly, Get Back in the Fight! is actually the best one, but making thoe pesky Nob Bikers re-roll their cover saves can work wonders too.
      What should the Squad be used for? I can think of two ways of using it. First, grab those meltas or plasma guns (the former being maybe a bit better, especially since it doesn't make the CCS so damn expensive) hop into a Chimera and make proper use of BS 4. The other is to deck them with sniper rifles and maybe a heavy weapon and hide within some cover to provide fire support. It might be worth to invest in camo-cloaks for this choice, though I'm not entirely sold on it.
      CCS also gives you access to one of the bes things in the codex - the advisors. Out of those only two are worth the attention however. Master of Ordnance is horribly unreliable and the Bodyguards don't help too much. The other two however, can easily shift the game in your favour. I'd rank the Astropath slightly above the Officer of the Fleet, but I include both. With the re-roll from Astropath you have roughly 90% chance that your outflanking units will come out of the side you want them to! Officer of the fleet makes such a chance of success for your enemy roughly 44%, which is quite nice too. His ability to delay reserves surely saved me from being overwhelmed in some cases!
    • Lord Commissar
      That one would be the worst HQ choice, unfortunately. I haven't fielded him yet, but I can't really see a lot of use for that unit. Being IC he gets to die quite quickly in combat, so you might not get to benefit from Stubborn. I suppose you could keep him around for the Ld 10 bubble, but honestly, with orders, it isn't really that useful.
    • Primaris Psyker
      A decent support HQ choice. I could see myself using him as a second HQ unit. He can give out a lot of S6 hits, which can be annoying to the enemy, even if he gets to make his armour save. Nightshroud however is totally useless. I don't know what did Mr. Cruddace have in mind when he made that power. I could see him attached to a veteran squad in a Chimera, though admittedly the best loadout for such vets would be GLs. With plasmas, you probably wouldn't want to shoot AP 5 shots since with the wound allocation you might actually deal less damage.
      Oh, he also has a force weapon. Wow, a S3 power weapon that won't insta-kill anything anyway because all the damn things have Eternal Warrior nowadays..
    • Techpriest and Ministorum Priest
      Just no. Overpriced and unreliable, unless in very rare and strange cicumstances. Unless you're going for a theme... but well, this article is meant to say about competetive play.
  • Elites
    • Ogryns
      Ha, ha, ha.. Do not field, unless you like the models and want a fluffy game. If you're playing at least slightly competetively stay away from them. Highly overpriced, with low Ld (So what they have Stubborn...) and no real close-combat options available to them whatsoever..
    • Ratlings
      A strange choice. They aren't really too bad, but they aren't too good either. Ratlings are quite cheap and can give a lot of shots, which have a chance to be Rending and force a Pinning check - which might work well combined with Weaken Resolve. But the majority of weapons in game will wound them on 2+, meaning even their 3+ or better cover save won't do much (since they'll have to make a lot of those). At Ld6 as soon as you force a morale check they're out of the game. Don't expect to reliably use Get Back in the Fight! on them.
    • Psyker Battle Squad
      The best Elite choice and one of the best units out there. Mounted in a Chimera (without it they're actually a very poor choice) they can unleash devastation upon your foes. With Weaken Resolve you can easily get rid of that annoying and deadly enemy unit, push the enemy off the objective and many more. If the enemy is Fearless you can blast them with an S9 big pie-plate, which has 50% chance of penetrating Power Armour.
      With that unit you may no longer fear the dreaded Nob Bikers. You only need to kill 2 or 3 (and with the ammount of S8+ large blasts we can dish out it's not really that hard) and they're out of the game more-or-less.
      Keep in mind your overseer is important however - or you will suffer a really deadly Perils attack!
      I wouldn't field more than one squad however. Just keep their Chimera safe from enemies and prefferably in cover all the time (using other Chimeras for example). I'll just add that this unit has never failed me in any battle it had fought in. And I really love psykers fluff-wise, have I ever mentioned that?
    • Storm Troopers
      Uh. Fiercely debated on, I am unsure about them at all. They're overpriced quite badly, but not as much as Ogryns and they have much more uses. I would never field a full squad however, but rather a 5-man with either twin meltas or twin flamers. Together with Airborne Assault it means you're likely to get those special weapons exactly were you need them.
      Still, personally I haven't used them and as such I can't comment more. My friend used them a bit and said they perform quite well however.
  • Troops
    • Infatry Platoon
      The bread and butter of the Imperial Guard, now even cheaper! Platoon is still a very solid Troops choice, giving you access to a Command Squad that is an awesome place to stack flamers, very cheap and expendable Infatry Squad, deadly Special Weapon Squads and two other choice which are rather poor.
      As I mentioned the PCS is the best place to stack up flamers. I use mine with 3 of those and they have done great things, like roasting 10 Lootas, a 3-strong Crisis Suit team and routing a Chaos Space Marines squad. I usually use either this or a Special Weapon Squad in one of my Vendettas to get them where they're needed. They're also Troops and can claim objectives, a win-win situation! I wouldn't really put any other options on those however, well perhaps GLs since they're cheap.
      The Infantry Squads are still nice. They're cheap and as such give you a lot of scoring units, about twice as much as other armies! (I have a total of 9 scoring units, that's way more than anyone can have!) The important bit is to keep them heap, however. Do not go over the board outfitting them with power weapons, lascannons and plasma guns! I keep mine simple, GL + AC bringing them to nice 65 points, which is still cheaper than squads under the old codex were! There is however a different way to use them. Get 5 squads, give every sergeant a power weapon, give them flamers and add a Commissar with a power weapon to one of those. Grab a priest. Combine the squads. Start slowly marching through the field of battle, being as deadly as a mob of Orks! Much more expensive of course, but with 25 power weapon attacks you can do quite a lot of damage to most foes, especially since those weapons can't be singled out! I'll have to try it out one day.
      Special Weapon Squads are, other than cheap cannon fodder, the best reason to take a Platoon. I kit mine out with two demo charges and a flamer. Last game they dealt 27 wounds to a bunch of Kroot.The other they evaporated 7 out of 9 GK terminators, including the Grand Master. A one-shot wonder tat can get you out of a lot of troubles! I usually put one into a Vendetta to deliver it onto the nasty enemy (or an objective, if there's no suitable targets!). The other sits back, preferrably out of los, behind the Infatry Squads and waits for that careless Ork mob or a Terminator squad to charge and slaughter the poor Guardsmen... I lose 65 points, he loses way more.
      Heavy Weapon Squads are strange under the new dex. Very, very fragile and quite unreliable to get orders at Ld7. They can be quite useful armed with their basic weapons though! Mortars can cause some havoc in the enemy ranks as he's safe nowhere and the teams can just hide out of los and not be so easily slaughtered.
      Conscripts are a big no in the codex. Why pay 4 pts per one when you can pay 5 pts for a guardsman with 3 Ld more, 1 WS and BS more and weapon options, which you can combine into a huge squad as well?
    • Veteran Squad
      And excellent Troops choice, to which many people have switched over. This is the best place to put those expensive and most powerful special and heavy weapons. Give the sarge a fist (this is the only unit which should use special melee weapons), to make sure a single Space Marines cannot ruin your day and put them into a Chimera or a Valk and start handing out punishment to your opponent. Doctrines are quite interesting, but are slightly too expensive for my taste. If I was to pick one I'd go with Demolitions. Nothing more fun than one more demo charge! It's also worth noting that if they're armed with plasma guns they should have lasguns, but if they're armed with meltas they should carry shotguns. If I made my squad again I'd convert them.
    • Penal Legion
      Haven't used those, so can't really say much. They seem quite interesting, but at the same time I feel they might let me down quite a bit. These don't really fit my army theme, so unless I get some crazy idea or GW releases some totally awesome kit, I'm not going to use them.
      Their outflank ability might be interesting for grabbing some lonely objectives however. The ammount of the attacks/rending they could dish out might sound interesting, but against highly armoured foe it probably won't do too much (and rending is a gamble, really). But ultimately, they're not too bad.
    • Chimera
      Ah, the lowly Chimera APC. Went from the worst transport in game (horribly overpriced!) to more-or-less the best one (at least cost-efficency wise). Sure, it has a side armour of 10, but it can get your troops where you want them and lets them shoot out of it! That means your squad is protected from most anti-personnel weaponry (after all, you should face your enemy with the front, right? Of course it's not always possible) while still being able to shoot all special/heavy weapons! For 55 pts it's a real bargain. There's a reason my favourite online store is constantly out of stock for those.. My favourite loadout is Multi-Laser and Heavy Flamer. Shoot some S6 shots on long distances, which have a chance of popping an enemy transport and if they get close, roast them up. Be careful though, if the enemy is too strong and is likely to survive roasting I reccomend getting away or you will lose the Chimera in the next assault. I'll be writing up general tactics of using units in the third part of Tactica Imperialis.

And that's it. I'll probably write up Part II with Fast Attack and Heavy Support (The interesting bits for every threadhead, eh?) choices tomorrow. As a closing word, a 1800 list I came up with a while ago, which I consider very solid and fun.

HQ: Company Command Squad - Standard, 3xMelta, OoF, Astropath
Chimera - ML, HF
Elites: Psyker Battle Squad(9 Psykers)
Chimera - ML, HF
Troops: Veteran Squad - 3x Plasma, Fist
Chimera - ML, HF
Troops: Veteran Squad - 3x Melta, Fist
Troops: Platoon Command Squad - 3xFlamer
Infatry Squad - GL, AC
Infatry Squad - GL, AC
Infatry Squad - GL, AC
Special Weapon Squad - 3x Demo Charge, Flame
Special Weapon Squad - 3x Demo Charge, Flamer
FA: Vendetta
FA: Vendetta
FA: Scout Sentinels (3) - 2xML, 1xAC
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank
Heavy: Leman Russ Demolisher - Plasma Cannons

1800 pts.

The list is quite mobile, while having lot of meatshields to block out enemies or sit on objectives. You can use Infantry Squads efficiently to block enemy assaults on your important bits, while SWSs act as a counter-assault unit. The Sentinels can do a lot of fun things. Last battle they outflanked right behind a Hammerhead, shooting it int he rear... and doing nothing, but shaking it. I decided that I got nothing to lose so I assaulted. Out of 6 attacks, one managed to hit (it moved 12" so needing 6's). I proceed to roll for penetration.. scoring a 6 - penetrating hit! I roll on the table... yet another 6 and the tank explodes spectacularly. Now try imagining the Sentinel running up to the tank, kicking it, making it go boom. Awesome. Vendettas outflank with the melta-vets and either the PCS or a SWS, depending on what enemy I'm facing and what I might need. I also removed sponsons from LRBT as you can see. More on that in next article.

Aaand that's it for today, thanks for reading! If you have any comments or opinions, I'd love to hear them!

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at Sunday, August 23, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


james F  

master of ordanance unreliable? no, use a mortar and the multiple barrage rule, the template will touch the mortars and mean you get a near spot on shot! PS your tactica is hideously biased as you havent used half the things you have talked about, lord commisars are great with orgyns for example.

23 August 2009 at 22:47

You make a lot of good points. I'm looking forward to reading more.

23 August 2009 at 22:51

Here's a few things that have been working for me.

Veterans are awesome and I agree on the Chimeras. Powerfist, flamer, 2x grenades here. You can shoot the grenades 24" when on the move 6" with the chimera for a 30" threat range to compliment your multi-laser. I use a heavy bolter in my hull and try not to move much at all if I can avoid it.

Colonel Straken w/a squad full of
pistols and an Officer of the Fleet can actually fight close combat and win. A lot. Him granting furious charge and counter-assault to everyone nearby is nuts too so castle up and over half your infantry can have these USR's..

Valkyries w/MRP's are the bees knees. 6 H. Bolter shots, 3 multilaser shots, and 2 templates i awesome. I've caused around 10 wounds with this thing a LOT.

Stormtroopers are a touch overcosted but they don't feel like it when I pop falcons and russ's with them all the time.

Leman Russ Vanquisher w/Pask and a Hull Lascannon is one of the better anti-tanks in the book.


23 August 2009 at 23:30

@james F
Unfortunately, MoO does not benefit from multiple barrage rules. It is an ability treated as shooting, but it's not really shooting. I won't get into the argument, but you should check our warseer, there were a few threads about that and that was the common consensus. Also, I haven't used many things, but I dare say I play well enough to know how they are likely to perform. I also heard numerous opinions on those choices. And I can see how a Commissar Lord is useful with Ogryns as he will get sigled out as easily and killed by a single S6+ attack, making Ogryns lose that handy Ld.

I agree with most that you've written, really. The only problem is that we don't really play using special characters around here an as such I'm not really mentioning them. The regular Valk didn't quite work for me though, but maybe I didn't test it enough.
Oh, and if there will be Stormtroopers in plastic as they're rumoured to be, I'm going to pick up a box and try them out surely!

23 August 2009 at 23:41

Stormies in min sized squads are excellent tank hunters. I have mine with 2 meltas and a plasma pistol at 115 points that drops in and takes out whatever the most dangerous piece of hardware is. If I'm lucky, they survive the next round of shooting and can continue being pests in the background. If I'm not, they've already done their job.

I'm going to try using a larger squad armed with either flamers or plasmaguns, mounted in a Chimera and given the Scouts special rule or on foot with the infiltrate and pinning. Probably not worth it, but I love the models sooo very much...

As for the blob with power weapons and flamers- yes! I have two squads merged that outflank with Al'Rahem and they are devastating. They have enough bodies to last through most enemy fire and can easily deal with any non-cc focused squad, so they're great for charging objectives that you've placed near the outskirts.

24 August 2009 at 01:38

so you say vets should be shotguns with melta's and lasguns with plasma's... ok I'll swap mine round a bit then!!
cos at the mo i have plasma's with shotty's and the next squad was going to be lasguns and melta's. thanks for the heads up on that! sure it will come in useful if I ever *cough* start playing!

24 August 2009 at 14:45

Thanks, Hal'jin.

Kings: He's right with the lasgun/shotgun point - go with it.

It's worth noting some of the 'fun' elements, too: you can't beat the scatter-danger of mortars and demo charges - they're just so typical of the IG! I tend to be very lucky with mortars when I field them, but that pales into insignificance against just how enjoyable it is to scatter onto your own troops then cackle manically as they all survive!

29 August 2009 at 01:56

Near as I can tell, your special weapons squads could only have a flamer and 2 demo charges, or just 3 demo charges. Not sure if that's a typo on your part or not.

The relevant line is (p.97)

"Three Guardsmen must choose *one* of the following options:"

So while the demo charge doesnt replace lasguns, its still a single option.

31 August 2009 at 21:07

Woop, late reply.

Yes, it's a typo on my part, 2xDemo Charge + Flamer is the combo.

11 September 2009 at 15:19

The Lord Commisar is actually more useful than you think. Stick him in the middle of a ratling sniper squad and they won't be going anywhere.

25 September 2009 at 19:41

Did you know that you can shorten your links with BCVC and get cash for every click on your shortened links.

21 September 2016 at 04:06

Post a Comment